God Made Me Funky
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God Made Me Funky

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 1998 | INDIE | AFM

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 1998
Band R&B Funk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"God Made ME Funky’s ‘So Complicated’"

It seems that when Dana Jean Phoenix isn’t being a retro Pop star, or the voice of choice of the SynthWave scene, the Torontonian is part of eight-piece Funk collective God Made ME Funky. A brief skirt through their back catalogue revels an Acid Jazz heavy collection of smooth Funk and R&B grooves, but Dana recently uploaded a new tune to her SoundCloud page, and it’s pure ElectroPop brilliance. It would appear the SynthWave is starting to affect the rest of her band!

So Complicated is vintage Soul Pop gold. Hints of Jam & Lewis, Chromeo and even Five Star glisten though the track as thick, nostalgic, synths rub shoulders with wicked little licks and the occasional talkbox accompaniment. Dana is at her 80s finest here and her huge vocal is perfectly balanced in the track; there’s a lot going on here, but it never feels cluttered. This is the first we’d heard from God Made ME Funky, but we’ll definitely be checking out their new album, Funky Fly ‘N’ Free, when it’s released in March. - Electronic Rumors - Clive Lewis - Feb. 3, 2015

"God Made Me Funky brings high-energy funk to eager fans"

URL: http://music.cbc.ca/#!/blogs/2012/7/God-Made-Me-Funky-brings-high-energy-funk-to-eager-fans

God Made Me Funky brings high-energy funk to eager fans

God Made Me Funky is a long-standing Canadian institution. Musicians can ebb and flow into and out of the band but, no matter what the current lineup is, the values of multiculturalism and diversity in music remain. The band has been on the scene, touring extensively and blending genres, for 15 years. Now, they are ready to share some summertime throwback funk on their just released fifth CD, Vive Le NuFunk.

Veteran member MC Phatt Al and brand new lead singer Dana Jean Phoenix sit across from me in a busy downtown Toronto coffee shop. Phatt Al is proudly wearing a ball cap with the new album's name imprinted on it. It's clear the two are excited to talk about the new release. Phatt Al starts by explaining the band's origins in the late '90s.

"God Made Me Funky started out as an instrumental fusion band, back when that was the [kind of] band to be," he says. "Then, slowly, the band integrated singers and an MC, which was me. So here we are in 2012, I think we’ve maintained the integrity of that initial idea of a band being formed of the different aspects of Canadian culture, the mosaic that we have here, and musical styles and retaining that funkiness through it.

"There’s only one founding member of the band left, our drummer, Alan Witz. The crazy thing about God Made Me Funky is that the players don’t necessarily make up what the entity is. It’s bigger than the sum of its parts. I think we’ve had pretty much every musician in Toronto [be] part of the band at some point. It has actually been a really great thing because everyone has brought these different influences, which has allowed the band to breathe and change." 

Cue their new lead singer, Phoenix, who was singing backup for Jully Black before she joined up with GMMF.

"I’ve sung with a lot of different bands, and GMMF is the most fun I’ve ever had onstage," she says. "It’s such a high-energy show. It’s basically like the best cardio workout mixed with the best music and singing and an amazing crowd that feeds you with energy." Phatt Al laughs and adds, "We should start selling low-carb snacks."

Phoenix came on board during the creation process of Vive Le NuFunk, where she observed the band's collaborative process of bringing in ideas for songs, then working those ideas in front of an audience until they form into something that is ready for the studio. Phatt Al provides an example: "There wasn’t as much female rapping on the initial demo stuff, but Dana can rap. When she’d rap, the audience would freak out."

"The audience has always come to expect Phatt Al to do all the rapping," Phoenix explains, "so when I come as the new female singer, busting out these raps, it really takes them by surprise in a good, exciting way."

Once the material was ready to record, in came their producers who, as Phatt Al decribes, need to be calm, cool and collected as they sometimes have to play referee to the wants and needs of the band, so "we don’t have to fight each other, we can fight the producer. Sorry Slakah!"

Phatt Al is name-dropping Slakah the Beatchild, the Juno Award-winning producer/musician who is known for his work with Drake and Divine Brown, as well as his solo work under the name the Slakadeliqs. Andy Thompson also lends his production expertise to the new record.

As Phoenix puts it, "the idea of just a really fun, disco, roller-skating album jumped out at us, especially when people were bringing material to rehearsals, we started noticing an overall theme. We wanted to create an album that people could totally party to."

"Basically it's a futuristic, '80s, roller-skating jam," says Phatt Al, expanding on the nufunk vibe they created. "Just put it on, put your roller skates on and have fun all day."

With the release of Vive Le NuFunk, God Made Me Funky can get back to what it's known for – touring and playing electric, high-energy shows. On average, they play 150 to 200 gigs a year, spreading the gospel of GMMF.

"NuFunk is the culmination of culture and music and we like to say, it’s a combination of klezmer, rock, funk, pop, hip-hop, jazz, you name it, any music you can throw at it," says Phatt Al. "Because really funk is that – funk is a gumbo. We are the next generation of people making that style of music. We’ll just continue with this nufunk thing until someone tells us to shut up."

God Made Me Funky will be playing the Beaches Jazz Festival in Toronto on Friday, July 27, and Saturday, July 28. To listen to tracks from God Made Me Funky, check them out on their CBC Music artist page. - CBC - Jeanette Cabral | July 25, 2012

"God Made Me Funky – Vive le NuFunk – Album Review"

URL: http://www.lithiummagazine.com/god-made-me-funky-%E2%80%93-vive-le-nufunk-%E2%80%93-album-review

God Made Me Funky – Vive le NuFunk – Album Review

When Lithium was offered this review for the peons of the pen, I was coy, but I really wanted to do it. Yay me!! GMMF found me in ’07 while I was a DJ on an internet radio station. Boy that seems so long ago. Wait, it was a long time ago!

The tune we had in the library was Luv T’Day from the disc We Can All Be Free (2007). I instantly luved (sorry, had to) that song. I played it every shift. I usually don’t like hip-hop. I am just a pasty-faced white boy from a small town, for good or bad, but I could feel the soul they put forth. I generally don’t get that from most current hip-hop, but their music was tight, vocals sweet with great harmonies, and a certain polish - slickness even, you so very seldom hear from a sophomore effort. Of all the music I played and heard during that previous life, GMMF was included in the handful of bands I thought had a chance to make it.

Lo and behold, with the release of Vive le NuFunk (July 24th on itunes), this Toronto-based eight-piece band that features male vocalist Kaybe, keyboardist Danny Argyle, bassist Ben Miller, Rich Grossman on guitar, drummer Alan Witz, Arthur Kerekes on saxophone, MC PHATT and vocalist Dana Jean Phoenix have more than justified my faith.

With 1500 shows played across this Great White North, a 2007 Juno nomination for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year, and a 2012 Biz Bash Toronto’s Readers Choice Award for Entertainment Act of the Year. I have also learned they won Best R&B Band at the Toronto Independent Music Awards for their self-titled debut. They have had their music in a Coors commercial, an American Pie movie, as well an episode of TMN’s G-Spot.

Vive le NuFunk is everything they were, plus all that they have become. There is a maturity in these songs that again, I seldom hear in acts of this genre. I sit here searching for an over the top adjective to describe what I hear, but all I can think of is FUN. From ‘Spotlight’ to ‘Who U R’ and the eight tracks in between, your enjoyment is guaranteed! This is just a great party disc. The musicianship is beyond reproach, and the songs are as slick as ever, though not over produced (another aspect of this genre I dislike).

As I go through my 5th listen while I type, I become even more impressed. I think you would have to be a true cold hearted, crotchety, grumpy old fart not to love these tunes. Any setting, any place, any time is the space that this band can fill. Like they sing in ‘Feels Like Music’, “Music happy happy music, music happy happy music”. All that is left to say is this band is ‘better call a doctor fast’ infectious! Young or old, first your foot starts tapping, then your head will bob, culminating in a hard core booty shake whether you look cool doing that or not.

Stand out track for me is ‘Summer Love’. Thank goodness you all can’t see me dance my pasty faced white boy moves.

Buy this CD, you will not be disappointed!

- See more at: http://www.lithiummagazine.com/god-made-me-funky-%E2%80%93-vive-le-nufunk-%E2%80%93-album-review#sthash.g6HBQJv2.dpuf - Lithium Magazine - July 2012

"God Made Me Funky Brings Futuristic 80s Roller-Skating Vibe to New Album"

Everything old is new again.

Their new album may be called Vive Le NuFunk, but for the latest record from Toronto eight-piece funk machine God Made Me Funky, the band is going back to their roots. Taking a cue from the love of music that inspired their early efforts before the pressure to make chart-toppers, GMMF have crafted a record that they say was made for themselves first.

“It’s really weird, it’s like we’ve come full circle in a really good way.”

So says Phatt Al of the iconic band. When the band got together a year ago to hash out material for a new record, the mandate was simple: to do the music they wanted to do.

“It was very different from trying to say, ‘Is this gonna get on CHUM, or is this gonna get played in the States?’” says Phatt Al. “We didn’t worry about that, and I think without that pressure we actually wrote the best album we’ve ever done. Because we’d written it for ourselves first. And in writing it for ourselves, we’ve written it for everybody, you know?”

But of course, their music couldn’t really be called “nufunk” without the “nu”—and there’s plenty of that on this album too, starting with a bit of a line-up change. When the band went on hiatus two years ago after churning out four albums in as many years, each member went off to do their own side projects, and for lead female vocalist Melissa O’Neil, this meant hitting the boards as part of the cast of Broadway musical Jesus Christ Superstar. Being hired on to the production resulted in her leaving the band to pursue the opportunity, leaving a spot open for a new female vocalist.

Enter Dana Jean Phoenix.

If you are a fan of blogger-turned-celebrity gossip hound Perez Hilton, you may already have heard of her. Earlier this year Hilton issued an open call for YouTube covers of Nicki Minaj’s hit “Starships” as part of his “Can You Sing” cover contest, and Phoenix blew them away with an artfully rendered a capella video where she performed all the lyrics, beats and sound effects herself. The colourful entry landed her a spot in the top three and a Twitter shoutout from Hilton and Nicki Minaj herself.

But to pull a hipster move, God Made Me Funky totally discovered her first.

“I met Dana through one of our co-writers and producers, Andy Thompson, and Dana was singing with Jully Black at the time. So I was like, ‘Oh, if you’re singing with Jully Black, I know you’ve got some soul, girl!’” says Phatt Al with a laugh.

“We also worked together on Dana’s previous two records, and yeah, basically once Melissa was gone and we were looking for another singer, I was kind of like, ‘It’s a no-brainer.’ I knew how much Dana would bring to the project so it was like, let’s just have Dana come in and do it. And it was so fast, so quick. She brought it in terms of not just singing, but her vibe, and writing also; that was like, wow, she’s already been in the band for, like, ever, so that’s great.”

For her part, Phoenix appears delighted to be working with the iconic Toronto band.

“I think God Made Me Funky is the most fun I’ve ever had on stage,” she says. “It’s like a crazy party, and I actually went on tour with them out west. I was so amazed, the first time I’d ever been in Vancouver, for example, and these crowds were there and they knew all the words to every song. I just couldn’t believe how much love the fans had for the band and Nu Funktonia, and they were just there to party. So I love performing with God Made Me Funky; it’s just home to me.”

Phoenix will have a lot more opportunities to showcase her new contributions to the band, as they are slated to perform this month at the Beaches Jazz Festival on July 27 and 28.

But more than merely being a replacement lead, Phatt Al notes that Phoenix brings an entirely new sound to the band’s repertoire.

“She brings so many different styles to the female element in the band, and I think what’s really mind-blowing on this record [is] you hear Dana rapping and singing, just bringing that versatility that we didn’t really have before,” he says. “We’ve had some really amazing female vocalists in the band, but we never had a female vocalist who could bring such a diverse array of styles.”

This versatility is evident in the varied selection of songs she has covered and posted on her personal YouTube channel.

“I love doing the covers because it’s me getting to explore all the different styles and genres,” Phoenix says. “And that’s what it [really] is, just showcasing my voice by doing all the instruments a capella. And it’s just so creative. I love doing it.”

Speaking of creativity, the process of making this latest album was a little different from how GMMF may have crafted previous efforts—and definitely a lot more playful.

“We basically came back together and just wanted to write a really fun, roller-skating album that would be played in the future—that was our mandate with this album!” Phatt Al confesses with a laugh. “This one has to be a futuristic, 80s roller-skating record. Every single was like that: ‘Can we roller-skate to this in the future? Would you want to roller-skate to this song in ten years?’ and that was basically, the uh . . . [laughs] the mandate for this album.”

He elaborates further, saying that despite the future-centric tone of life today, there is still a lot of nostalgia for the tangible things of the past. Case in point: the strong resurgence of interest in vinyl records.

“I think roller-skates are of that era. I know they’re coming back; they have to!” he exclaims with a laugh, secure in his prediction.

So does the band plan to promote the new album by playing gigs in roller-skating rinks?

“I really, really wish there was a roller-skating rink in every city, because we would be playing those roller-skating rinks for, like, a roller-skating tour!” Phatt Al exclaims only half-jokingly.

“We’ve been calling places like, ‘Do you guys have a roller-skating rink,’ and they’re kind of like, ‘What country are you in?’ Y’all need a roller-skating rink. Quick! Fast!”

But he hopes that doesn’t limit their fans’ involvement in the 80s aesthetic of the album.

“We’re kind of hoping that this summer people kind of make the decision to roller skate and get back to what was really funky and disco-ey about the 80s and join us on Vive Le NuFunk.”

Vive Le NuFunk releases on July 24, so fans, strap on your roller skates and get ready for a funky, rocking good time. - Cadence Magazine | 2012

"Divine JUNO nod for Toronto “Nu-Funk” ensemble"

Link: http://www.ctv.ca/mini/junos2008/story/godmademefunky.html

For a band best known for their incredible live performances, a JUNO nomination is a powerful tool.
Kaybe, male vocalist in the band God Made Me Funky (GMMF) says the JUNO Awards provide an avenue for spreading their unique sound across Canada, and hopefully across the globe. “More people will come out, see the energy and the good time that we have out there,” said an enthusiastic Kaybe.
GMMF recently received their first JUNO nomination: R&B/Soul Recording of the Year for their second album “We Can All Be Free.” Rapper PHATT al could barely contain his delight. “We’re watching all the other nominees. They’re all people that we know and have seen great success happen to. To be honoured by being placed in the same category as these guys, it’s awesome! We’ve worked really hard to get here.”
Originally formed in 1996, the nine-member ensemble creates a style that’s hard to define. Their influences range from traditional soul and funk acts like Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind and Fire and Cool and the Gang, to rock staples like Led Zeppelin and Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees, Triumph. “Our music’s called Nu-Funk,” explains Kaybe. “It’s an amalgamation of different styles. We’re just trying to bring Nu-Funk to everybody, and this [nomination] definitely helps.”
In 2005, the band really took off. GMMF won Best R&B Band at the Toronto Independent Music Awards for their self-titled release that same year. ChartAttack.com named them one of the top performers at NXNE, declaring, “If you can’t dance to God Made Me Funky, you can’t dance.”
Hot on the tails of JUNO buzz
With their third album, “Enter the Beat,” dropping in March, the popular live band is hoping the JUNO nom will get even larger audiences out to their cross-Canada CD release tour. “We think that we’re really bringing a Nu-Funk to Canada… really allowing people to see what’s going on in terms of independent spirit,” says PHATT al.
PHATT al and Kaybe get enthusiastic when CTV.ca suggests that the group pair up with Triumph à la Run DMC/Aerosmith. The JUNO Awards have the power to turn independent bands into household names. They also provide an opportunity for Canada’s music community to come together, share ideas and cross genres. “It’s so important, I think, in this day and age,” says PHATT al. “The way music is changing, the way the industry is changing… as an independent band whenever you get recognized it feels amazing.”

by Nadine Silverthorne

- CTV.ca - 2008

"Field Trip with God Made Me Funky’s PHATT al"

Link: http://www.insideeonline.com/index.cfm?ci_id=4738&laId=1

insideEonline tracked down one of God’s chosen funkersters: PHATT al. He’s the MC for God Made Me Funky, a band he described as “an amalgamation of funk, hip hop, rock, pop, soul, whatever you listen to and vibe on. It’s a very multicultural band, it’s a very eclectic band…Quintessentially it’s a Canadian band.” Plopping ourselves onto the pleathery couches in the upstairs pool hall level of The Rivoli, we chatted and learned just how funky PHATT al is.

PHATT al: I’ve always loved music and being attracted to how it can move people. All said and done, it really is a universal language. I’ve been in a lot bands and done a lot of projects but what’s been really cool for me in the last three to four years with GMMF is that wherever we play the audience is so diverse; there is no one demographic that is necessarily prevalent when we go to a club. People just get down and have fun. I think it’s so underrated having fun and joy and being happy…When was the last time you just had unadulterated fun? And really, that’s what we’re all about…We call it Newfunktonia – that state where you just zone out and just have fun and you become a Newfunktonian and just do it, you know?”

It’s difficult to transfer the mesmerizing enthusiasm with which Phatt Al spoke. It made me want to immigrate to Nufunktonia right then and there. Stamp my passport please.

insideEonline: So with GMMF you don’t just see a concert, you are part of an experience.

PA: For us, we’re creating the experience for ourselves. Every show is different, but, what’s amazing and what’s real consistent…is that people have fun. They consistently have a good time. We’re the kind of band that you can see week after week because the shows aren’t necessarily going to be the same. Our shows are dynamic and the audience is dynamic, the place becomes dynamic, and for us, all the hard work we put in is especially for those moments. It’s pretty cool.

IE: How many are there in the group?

PA: It goes between eight and 12. Sometimes we might be up there with a DJ, Bongo player and a full horn section, but in general, there are nine of us: Kaybe, Lynzie [Kent], Al [Witz] on drums, Young Blood [Arthur Kerekes] on sax, Benji [Perosin] on trumpet, Danny Argyle on keys, Rich [Grossman] aka Monkey on guitar and Cam D on bass. I can’t believe I remembered that… and me! I’m Phatt Al.

With that amount of people and the number of genres that the band incorporates, I was curious how the creative writing process worked.

PA: In terms of the original material, we’ll bring a song, we’ll jam on the tune and then we’ll bring the tune in front of the Newfunktonians. Basically, if they keep dancing while we play the song, we know it’s a song that’s going to work for us, if they don’t [snaps] its back to the drawing board. It’s the audience that tells us what’s going to be on our next record...The really cool thing is we’ll never have the same records twice because our experiences keep coming into foreground and as the Newfunktonians get older and change and younger, stranger, whatever, its just really, really cool…Now it’s like everyone’s a songwriter: the band and the people we play for.

IE: I like the idea of it being an interactive process.

PA: It’s always really cool to see what worked and what didn’t work. Your own perceptions of what people are going to like can be flipped on its ear and sometimes somebody brings a song and we’re all like, ‘nah nobody’s gonna like that,’ and then we play it end everybody goes crazy. It’s like wow, okay, that’s good!

IE: Have you started on the next album yet?

PA: We’re working on a new one for 2009 right now…With the new album, the songs that we’re picking are vastly different from a lot of the other stuff that we had; this is what I’m talking about in the sense we don’t know what’s going to work and what’s not gonna work. It’s a really cool experience because the stuff that we are kind of shaking our heads at saying it’s not going to work, the people are totally digging. And that’s a piece of art we would have scrapped, but then can be created and molded into something. We’re really prolific and I don’t think we’ll ever stop. That’s why I think we’ll be independent forever! [laughs] No major league is going to be happy with us with a new budget to put out a new record. We just have so much energy and musical creativity that we just can’t stop. It’d just be like a bubbling pot boiling over if we stopped.

IE: So then is staying independent a conscious effort as not to be controlled?

PA: Definitely. We are a bit outside of the industry in some aspects because we want to do what we feel like doing and we’re pretty fierce about that independence. Initially, whenever we met with people, they had their concept of what we are, and in that it’s very limiting. Their concept of what we are; the industry’s concept of what you are. You gotta be categorized really easily. So when they were like ‘what kind of music do you play?’ and we explain to them, it’s this amalgamation of music, and they’re like, ‘yeah, what is that? Mmm, you guys are hip-hop?’ I’m then, like, see you call us a hip-hop band and you’re going to get in trouble because people are like, ‘you guys aren’t a hip-hop band, you guys have two singers.’ So we just define ourselves and had the audience define us and stuff. I think that’s the best way for us to operate, because there is no limitation on everybody telling you what you are. [laughs] So we just be funky.

GMMF received a Juno nomination for Best R&B/Soul Recording of the Year at the 2008 Juno Awards. So I had to ask if getting a national nod had any affect on the band.

PA: Yeah, it was awesome! Like I said, we felt like were really outside of the industry, so to be nominated for a Juno is like – you guys even know we exist? Cool, that’s awesome. And we got to go to Calgary and party, so that made it even more wicked. We did the Juno welcome ceremony, and the mayor of Calgary was dancing, and it’s not something he does often in public, so… Then we did the west coast. It was really cool just to go up the cost of BC and hit these smaller towns. They just had such a good time; everybody was having a good time. Canada knows how to party! I don’t think Canadian heritage promotes that we know how to party enough.

IE: It could be out new slogan.

PA: Yeah! ‘Canada knows how to party.’ It’d get more people up here, I tell ya!

GMMF tracks have found their way onto Coors commercials, the TV show G-Spot, the movie Surviving My Mother and American Pie Presents Beta House.

PA: Beta House was really cool. It started off with them licensing two songs, and then they saw us on MySpace and asked if we wanted to be in the movie and we said yeah. They were like you guys are going to be the Toga band – and it was so awesome! We got on set and they loved the performance we were doing so I suggested to the director, ‘If you love it so much, why don’t you shoot a video?’ Kind of joking, and he shot two for it so, it was just a really fun experience on set.

Music videos and movie cameos weren’t the only good thing that came out of that experience, the band channeled their inner Animal House Blutos and resurrected the Toga party.

PA: We went on a toga party tour. It was really cool because I guess the toga party faded, you know… so to able to bring back the toga party and go on a toga party tour, people were like yeah, what happened? This is the best thing ever! If we can help bring back the toga party then we’ll be able to retire happily.

IE: Well, that makes sense, you guys seem like a big party.

PA: It was such a freeing [experience] for us. First of all for all of us to be in togas on stage; it was very, very freeing. I see why the Romans ran the world for so long, they were in togas! Seeing everyone in the audience and the Newfunktonians just getting down and dancing in togas, the whole spot just shaking with energy. It was awesome. We’ll definitely be doing that again.

IE: Any other party-theme tours?

PA: You know what? Anything we do is an excuse for us to have a party…If they change the brand of toothpaste, ohh the new Colgate tour? Fresh white teeth and PARTAY! For us it’s all about getting down. We’ll find any excuse to do it.

Count me in, I’m always up for a good party!

interview by Emer Schlosser, photos by Eric McBain

- insideE On-line - 2008

"God Made Me Funky (Album Review)"

November 2nd, 2006
God Made Me Funky - (New EmPire Entertainment)

We Can All Be Free
Rating: 3 Stars

God did make them funky! Nu-funk is a genre that has never before lived up to its promise, but GMMF set the bar. The 14 sweet tracks on this sophomore album exemplify the Toronto nine-piece's impressive variety of talents and get your head bopping like a Grandmaster Flash tune would. The feeling may be old school, but the sound is all fresh: Hip-hop blends into old school R&B riffs here like it was meant to be, baby.

Isa Tousignant - MONTREAL HOUR - Nov. 2006

"Peripheral epiphanies - God Made Me Funky’s PHATT al talks about filtering your influences..."

God Made Me Funky first appeared on the scene back in 1996, playing in Toronto as an instrumental funk-fusion experiment, but in 2006, vocalists Kaybe and Breanne Arrigo, and rapper Phatt Al, have helped to round out the nu-funk sound of the band. Along with keyboardist Sean Nimmons, Cam Dougall on bass, guitarist Rich Grossman, drummer Alan Witz, and the horn section of Mark Jarvis and Arthur Kerekes, GMMF pack quite the punch throughout their funk, soul, R&B and hip hop repertoire. Montreal gets a taste of all things funky when this nine-piece monster play a release party for their new CD, We Can All Be Free, at Jello Bar this weekend. The Mirror spoke to Phatt Al over the phone from Toronto.

Mirror: A lot of groups making live hip hop will point to the Roots as a prime inspiration, or the standard of what live hip hop should be, but when I listen to your new album, it sounds like you guys are pulling in a lot of different directions.

Phatt Al: Because of the large amount of people in the band, you get so many different influences, so when you’re writing a song, you’ve got 10 people saying they like this and they like that. You have to find some way to let all of these influences come together, all the time remembering that it’s supposed to be a song. I guess that’s how you find your own voice and sound, through your influences. People say we sound like Black Eyed Peas, Outkast and the Roots, and we’re absolutely influenced by them, but we also go further back to their influences, like Stevie Wonder, Micheal Jackson, Prince, Afrika Bambaataa and Kool and the Gang, so even if people think we sound a little like Gnarls Barkley, we ain’t mad at that. We may not have the same budget as a lot of these artists, but we have the same spirit, and that’s what’s important to us.

M: Anybody making music in Canada that isn’t making rock, indie rock or straight-up pop has their own point of view on how the music industry works. Do you think that God Made Me Funky falls into the periphery of Canadian music by default?

PA: The way that the whole industry is structured in this country isn’t really meant for us. When you go to a label and they have one rep dealing with urban music, and that guy doesn’t even have the ability or power to sign anybody, it’s really frustrating. It’s a bit disheartening that you even have to convince a person at a major that hip hop and urban music are just as viable as anything else, especially today. At that point, it makes you work that much harder, and that much smarter, to put it out yourself. But by going it alone, or taking that independent route, you’re always going to be on the fringe of the mainstream, unless you give in and just emulate Black Eyed Peas, Outkast, or whatever’s hot right now. For us, it’s just about making songs that are going to last, however they manage to make it out into the music world.

CD launch with DJ Pierre PerpalL Jr.
at Jello Bar on Friday, Nov. 3, 10:30 p.m., $10

By: Scott C - MONTREAL MIRROR - Nov. 2006

"God Made Me Funky (Album Review)"

Rating: NNNN

The self-titled release from Toronto's own God Made Me Funky is funk as funk was meant to be felt, your shirtclinging to you in a sweaty club as your body twists itself in sensuous undulations. GMMF pilot this fantastic voyage, slinking into George Clinton/Funkadelic/Sly and the Family Stone territory while simultaneously tearing the roof off a mo'funka. The bass does a triple-X-rated lambada, and everything else has libido to spare. Hell, if you're funky and you know it and you really gots to show it, buy this or funk off.

Writer: Pierre Hamilton - NOW Magazine| JUNE 9 - 15 (2005)

"God Made Me Funky @ Richmond Lounge - NXNE '05"

10 musicians struggled for breathing room on the Richmond Lounge stage, but when the multiracial collective known as GOD MADE ME FUNKY let loose, they shook the whole room. If you can't dance to God Made Me Funky, you can't dance. For the first time all night everyone in the crowd closed in on the stage and shook thier booty to the band's classically funky tunes.

Grade: 95

Achievement of Rock 'n' Roll Expectations

80-100: Exceeds skill and knowledge expectations, i.e. rocked us so hard we peed our pants.
70-79: Achieves required skills and knowledge. Meets rock 'n' roll standard.
60-69: Demonstrates some skills. Approaches rock 'n' roll standard.
50-59: Demonstrates some required skills and knowledge in a limited way.
00-50: Has not demonstrated required skills or knowledge. - ChartAttack.com

"God Made Me Funky show review (May 7, 2005)"

I managed to catch the 2nd show they had in Montreal. It was at Bourbon Street West. So, God Made Me Funky comes on the stage and opens up with an original of the same name. After about 10 seconds (no joke) I was already feeling the vibe. In between their originals, they were throwing down some covers from Michael Jackson, Prince, the godfather of soul James Brown and some kick ass Stevie Wonder GMMF style. They were tight, kept moving and didn't lose their enthusiasm despite the fact that the older crowd, at times, didn't give them the justice they deserved. After the show, I went backstage to talk with them and saw that they were having fun and couldn't stop cracking jokes. As they say in their song Double Dutch Bus Rmx "We came together just to have a good time". I picked up my CD, you should too.

-Zerk - indieunitedcom

"God Made Me Funky (Album Review)"

Album Title: God Made Me Funky
Release Date: February, 2005
Rating: **** (4 stars)
Genre: Funk

In a sea of rotten fish guts, Toronto’s God Make Me Funky is like a seriously bottom-heavy grouper, just looking to make it in this crazy, mixed-up ocean of salt water and krill. Eight members strong and many more in spirit, the music of GMMF is kinda ethereal, kinda thoughtful and more than anything else, a boatload of big freakin’ fun. The band was born out of the vibrant fusion scene that seemed omnipotent in the late 1990’s Toronto. And it took close to 10 years for GMMF to release this, their eponymous self-titled debut. But with good reason, because these are definitely joints best enjoyed in person and GMMF chose to focus firstly on their stage show—their bread and lung butter, if you will. On record, it’s about mood and celebration and feeling. God Made Me Funky does a great job at approximating the energy of the band’s live performance and in doing so, recalls the hybrid hijinks of George Clinton, De La Soul, and the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir. Ex-Raggadeath/Len rhymer PHATT al is front and centre through out, pitting rhymes against grooves in a spirited bout of Phunko-Roman wrestling. The lead single “If Ur Funky” is proof positive, featuring a goofy “If you’re funky and you know” refrain broken down into some saccharine-fuelled b-boy slop. Better yet is “Bartenda”, all call-and-response against a backdrop of Isaac Hayes-style bass and awful bliss. Yet if funky hip-hop ain’t you’re speed, there’s plenty of else on God Made Me Funky to satiate that rumble down below and to appease even the most cleffed of palates.

Writer: Cameron Gordon - Soulshine.ca


Funky, Fly, n' Free (Upcoming LP)
(Feb 2015)

Vive Le NuFunk (LP)
(July 2012)

Welcome To Nufunktonia (LP)
(June 2009)

Enter The Beat (LP)
(March 2008)

We Can All Be Free (LP)
(Oct 2006)

God Made Me Funky (LP)
(Feb 2005)



With the release of their 2015 album, Funky, Fly n’ Free (New Empire Records), God Made Me Funky expand substantially on their signature blend of funk, soul and Hip hop while taking a direction, musically and lyrically, driven by a question the band has been mulling over collectively for years.

 “What is Funk? Ask 40 different people and you’ll get 40 different answers,” says GMMF MC, PHATT al. “But, for us, Funk is freedom.”

 That definition was reinforced when GMMF opened for George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic at the Montreal Jazz Fest. “Watching them play, their mastery, the freedom of expression they were sharing… It was like being transported to a different dimension.”

 On Funky, Fly n’ Free, GMMF express themselves just as freely and encourage listeners to do the same: “To go into their own dimension, into the Funk zone,” PHATT al says. “To be who you are. Free yourself of hate. Free yourself of the haters. Have an opinion. Think. Make your own decisions.”

On Funky, Fly n’ Free – just like every GMMF record from their self-titled debut to 2012’s set of ‘futuristic throwback roller skating jams,’ Vive le NuFunk – there’s no shortage of party songs; tracks like ‘Everybody Get Up’ and ‘Beating Machine’ that prove the band’s focus is getting NuFunktonions of all ages up and moving,

 While the party continues on Funky, Fly n’ Free, GMMF don’t mince words when it comes to celebrating both the things we all have in common and the diversity of opinions and beliefs that set us apart. “As a band we represent a beautiful mosaic of people from different genders, races and backgrounds,” PHATT al says. “You can be an activist and be serious about getting things done, but all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

Nowhere is that more evident than on the title track; a take-no-prisoners dance tune fueled by badass beats, chunky synth grooves and singer Dana Jean Phoenix’s soulful vocals that sets the tone for the entire album.

 It’s the first song GMMF wrote for the record, one inspired by a 2013-2014 New Year’s gig at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square where they found themselves counting down to making a change with 20,000 other people. “Basically, we got talking about what New Year’s means and how it’s about choice and wanting to evolve and we just knew what we wanted to say on Funky, Fly n’ Free,” Phoenix says. “That was the energy that got us back into the studio.”

Like GMMF’s past records, Funky, Fly n’ Free is inspired by a huge range of influences, from 80s icons D Train, and Sheila E to outspoken artists like Public Enemy, Queen Latifah and KRS-One. And while GMMF’s sound remains a seamless fusion of sweet soul, Hip hop and R&B, Funky, Fly n’ Free mines a slightly different, but equally rich, vein of Funk.

 That’s obvious on full on jams like GMMF’s love song to life, ‘So Complicated,’ tracks like ‘Digital Life,’ with it’s disco horns, 70’s era guitar and bass grooves, and ‘Persuasive Magic’ – an 90’s hip house/pop throwback that channels vintage soul, R&B and a modern minimalist vibe in equal measure.

Since GMMF started in 1996, their high-energy performances have attracted a wide range of fans and garnered numerous awards. Among them a TIMA for Best R&B band, a 2008 Juno nomination for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year for We Can All Be Free and a Biz Bash Toronto’s Reader’s Choice award for Entertainer of the Year in 2012. Over time, they’ve shared stages with Afrika Bambaataa, Bedouin Soundclash, INXS, Guru from Gangstarr and many more, and proved over and again that they can get any crowd up and shaking on the dance floor.

Scheduled for release on March 10th 2015, "
Funky, Fly n’ Free finds GMMF coming full circle,” PHATT al says, going back to their independent roots by releasing the record on his own imprint, New Empire Records. “Doing everything independently we can move at our speed and the speed of our audience,” he says, and, by extension, express themselves more freely than ever, which, ultimately, is what Funky, Fly n’ Free is all about.

That potential impact of that choice is something they detail candidly on ‘Back 2 Da Future’ – a charged dance track that’s as sure to pack the dance floor as it is to get listeners wondering why we’re still not ‘free of hate, isms and lies.’ One that says, without pulling any punches, that all forms of bigotry and intolerance are related and all will, in some better future, be utterly antiquated; a future God Made Me Funky believe can only come about by people coming together in mutual pursuit of a reality that is truly Funky, Fly n’ Free.

Band Members